Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2021
Christmas Cookie Extravaganza – 2021
Well, here we are. After baking about 20 different cookies, several cakes, sweet breads, muffins, sweet rolls and a pie, I present to you our Christmas Cookie Extravaganza for 2021. Below you will get a little idea of our process for the baking, bagging, sealing, labeling and freezing all of our cookies each year.
This year, in addition to my regular cookie baking, I received a large box of assorted fruits from Paradise Fruit Company. There is a special section of the baked goods I made using their candied fruits also. Our neighbors got extra goodies as I gave out many of those goodies for samples before we actually gave away the cookies.
We divvied out 122 gift bags; 100 of which went to our neighbors, 22 went to friends from church. We made up 5 popcorn tins; some for family and others for special former employers. We made up 6 large buckets which went to friends and former co-workers. Finally, we made up 23 trays which were sent out to doctor’s offices, former co-workers, friends and church office staff’s.
We spent the month of October and the first week of November working on this. We baked almost every one of those days! Needless to say, we were glad to be finished this year. By the time you see these goodies, we’ll have caught our breath and are no longer exhausted. 🙂
It is a labor of love. After John’s stroke last year, I didn’t think we’d ever manage to pull this off again. But he pleaded with me to undertake it as a way to give back to others and especially to get acquainted with our neighbors. We have made many new friendships as a result of giving the cookies away again this year. And those who’ve received them in the past are always delighted with our goodies and can’t wait to dig in. We’ve made lots of different flavors so there’s something for everyone. Enjoy! 🙂
Start with a large batch of cookie dough. This batch is Chocolate Butter Pecan Cookies.
Roll the cookie dough into balls. This batch is Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies.
Bake them up! This batch is Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Allow the cookies to cool. This batch is Candied Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies.
Once the cookies cool, it’s time to bag them and seal them. This batch is Candied Pineapple White Chocolate Cookies.
Seal, label and freeze the cookies temporarily. I usually freeze overnight. This batch is Gingerbread White Chocolate Cookies.
After the cookies have frozen, remove to large zip lock bags and store upright to maximize space in the freezer. These cookies are Apricot Cream Cheese Cookies.
Fruitcake Balls are frozen before bagging.
I made a couple of batches of miniature Holiday Sour Cream Pound Cakes. I had several requests for them as everyone raved over them.
I loaded two freezers with cookies! This freezer has about 3,500 cookies loaded into it! I made about 4,500 this year.
After setting out all the bags, trays, popcorn tins and other cookie containers, I start placing cookies in each container. I do one kind of cookie at a time until are used up before starting on a different cookie.
It takes us about 5-6 hours to get all those cookie bags and containers loaded up.
Then we add Candy Canes and other Christmas Candies.
We include a personal letter and a set of recipes (so our recipients can cross reference for allergies).
We added a copy of The Christmas Code which is a devotional book for Advent.
After everything is loaded into the bags we add crepe paper on top and either re-freeze the cookies for later delivery or refrigerate them until we’re ready to deliver them (usually within a couple of days). This year we made up 122 gift bags for neighbors and friends.
We make up trays of assorted cookies and bars. We made up 23 trays.
We use every inch of space and pull out all kinds of folding tables to make this process go smoothly.
After we organize the trays with cookies, we wrap each one tightly in Stretch-Tite plastic wrap, add recipes and make up a personal label.
We made up 5 popcorn tins and 6 large buckets.